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Marlins hoping to get closer Steve Cishek some work

Steve Cishek has the longest current consecutive saves streak in the majors at 31. 

The next time he pitches it might not be a save situation. 

Skipper Mike Redmond said Monday the team needs Cishek to get some work. He's pitched just once since the season-opening series against the Rockies -- last Friday night in Philly -- and has played spectator as other Marlins relievers have blown games with late home runs over the last week. 

"We've talked about it," Redmond said of getting Cishek into a game earlier for the sake of putting him  to work."It's crazy that we're in the same exact situation we were in last year. We've won more games this time around. It's tough. The first week we scored a lot of runs and didn't get a chance to use him and then last week we took a couple tough losses, tried getting him the ball. We might be in a situation here where we bring him in the eighth to get him some work, possibly throw a couple innings. We need him to pitch."

Cishek had three situations during last year's 100-loss season where he got six or more days worth of rest between appearances. So he's used to long layoffs.

"Everyday is just about going out there and hoping the team puts you in a situation to secure a win," Cishek said. "Our first six games we were raking. So even if we've been down I'm still trying to key in, get myself mentally ready to go in. It's still early. I feel like we have a good bullpen. I think we'll handle ourselves fine for the remainder of the year. We just had a little bad run."

> Second baseman Rafael Furcal, who spent last week in extended spring training, will begin his minor league assignment tonight in Single A Jupiter. Redmond said Furcal was going to play five innings.

"Our plan is for him to use all 21 [rehab] days," Redmond said. "Hopefully everything goes well and we go from there."

That means the earliest Furcal would be back with the big league team is May 6th when the Marlins take on the Mets at home. 

Redmond said Furcal would spend a week in Jupiter and then another in Double A Jacksonville before being reevaluated.

> Center fielder Marcell Ozuna isn't in the starting lineup Monday after fouling a ball off his foot Sunday. Redmond said Ozuna was on crutches Sunday night. But Ozuna took batting practice Monday and Redmond said he could be available to pinch-hit.

"It's one of those things where if its a bone bruise it can be a big deal, or it's just a matter where it flares up, swells up that night," Redmond said. "We'll see how he does today. We know he can't run 100 percent. We'll see if he can hit."

> Pitcher Jacob Turner, scratched from his last start and placed on the disabled list after injuring his throwing shoulder during batting practice last week, will begin playing catch on Tuesday. Redmond said Turner "reported that he feels much better than he has."

"We'll see how it responds to long toss," Redmond said. "Then we may start a plan for him."

> Utility infielder Ed Lucas was cleared to begin full baseball activities Monday. Lucas has been on the disabled list since he fractured his left hand during his final at-bat of the spring. He isn't expected back until next month.


> Nationals (7-5): 1. Anthony Rendon 3B, 2. Kevin Frandsden LF, 3. Jayson Werth RF, 4. Bryce Harper CF, 5. Ian Desmond SS, 6. Tyler Moore 1B, 7. Danny Espinosa 2B, 8. Sandy Leon C, 9. Jordan Zimmerman RHP.

> Marlins (5-8): 1. Christian Yelich CF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Casey McGehee 3B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Reed Johnson LF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Brad Hand LHP.